in my kitchen – August 2013

Once again I’m joining in with Celia’s In My Kitchen where bloggers around the world link to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial to give a peek into their kitchens.

In my kitchen …

crispbread

… thin crisp breads made from sourdough bread. It’s a long story. Feel free to skip to the next photo. I decided to make a cheesecake but didn’t want to buy the cream cheese in the shops as it was made with milk from Denmark or Germany, which seems a strange thing and not very supportive of British farmers. But then I discovered that it’s easy peasy to make your own cream cheese (heat milk, add rennet, stir, strain) so I made my own. It seemed rather wasteful to pour away the bowlful of whey so I decided to make some bread with it.

With hindsight, the weather was hot and humid, with thunderstorms threatening, my dough was too wet, I had too much home milled wholemeal flour in the starter and I proved the dough too long because I was out of the house for longer than expected. The resulting loaves were flat and too sour for my taste so I decided to slice up the leftover bread and dry it in the oven to make a sort of twice baked biscuit that would be a cross between a Dorset Knob and a Finn Crisp crispbread.

I sliced the first batch too thickly and didn’t dry them out enough so  they were crisp on the outside but very tough in the middle. So tough in fact that Bill broke his front tooth eating one. Looking on the bright side, I sliced the next batch much more thinly and although they’re fine, Bill has declined to eat any and has pointed out that my thriftiness with the whey and leftover bread will be massively outweighed by the cost of his dental work.

In my kitchen …

summer fruit and rose syrup

… soft fruit layered over cream cheese* with a drizzle of Rose Syrup. The  fruit season is in full swing and every day we eat raspberries, loganberries, blackcurrants, strawberries or gooseberries. This would be very healthy if most of the family didn’t drown the fruit in double cream, so I try to divert them with a little sweetness instead using rose syrup. More dental work I know but better than a heart attack.

In my kitchen …

rhubarb bitters

… rhubarb bitters. One of my favourite soft drinks is lemon lime bitters and I’ve been experimenting with making my own bitters. Last year I made Sloe Bitters and now this bottle is sitting quietly in the corner.

In my kitchen …

recipe books

… rather too many recipe books. Some of them are so well used that they’ve lost their spines or the pages fall out every time they’re opened. Some are probably rarely opened and should be removed. Most of them have been given to me as presents. I don’t know if this is because my family think I’m a keen cook eager to try out new recipes or if they feel my cooking is too “Mrs Cropley”**. I suspect the latter. (See above.)

In my kitchen …

from the kitchen window

… the view from a different kitchen window late on a summer’s evening. After more than a year looking out of one window, I thought it time to move to another. This is the view from the sink (if I open the window and lean out to look sideways) across the herb beds towards the fruit trees.

What’s happening in your kitchen this month? Why not join in with Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial?

* I’d misread the recipe and the cheesecake didn’t need cream cheese after all.

** Maker of Marmite Cake and other such delicacies in The Vicar of Dibley

39 thoughts on “in my kitchen – August 2013

  1. Glenda says:

    Hi Anne Your story with the cheese made me laugh. That is exactly what I would do!!! BTW your idea with the bread does work, I do it regularly with loaves that are ‘too heavy’. The trick is to slice it really thinly. I have at last put up a photo of the view from my kitchen window in this month’s post. Cheers.

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    • Anne @GtSlamseysFarm says:

      How can you be organised enough to have Christmas presents already? Hope it’s not an apron either as someone in the family gives me one every year – or someone else passes one on that they’ve been given.

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      • Jo Norman (@daisyley) says:

        Luckily not an apron … phew. Yes I am extremely organised this is because a) it was in the sale and b) I’m scared/hopeful I’ll be in notonthehighstreet Christmas lockdown from September onwards again this year.

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  2. Mrs Thomasina Tittlemouse says:

    What a memorable loaf! I like the sound of making your own cream cheese too. I think I have a bottle of rennet somewhere so may have a go. I particularly love your shelf of recipe books – and the books with no spines or which are falling apart? I’d make a bee-line for those if I were in your kitchen because it’s always those books that have got used the most that contain the richest seams to be mined! But the rarely used ones also have their place – I have cleared out some of mine in that category and then regretted it so my advice is to hoard them and if necessary build an extra shelf! E x

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  3. Jane says:

    Mmm love the idea of homemade bitters. I love a soda and bitters. Laughing about the broken tooth. Well, not really, that sounds heartless. But smirking a little in sympathy. I almost suffered the same fate today with some home-sprouted mung beans… like small pieces of rock in there!

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  4. Jane @ Shady Baker says:

    Oh Anne…this made me laugh. There are times when thriftiness is just plain old hard work! I was just thinking recently about the crispy sourdough things that you make in the oven. The name escapes me right now.

    All of those berries sound so delicious and exotic! Your rhubarb bitters looks wonderful, you are so inventive with these things! Cookbooks…I have too many also and still occasionally want more. But, I am getting much fussier when it comes to actually buying them.

    I am enjoying the new view!

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    • Anne @GtSlamseysFarm says:

      Several times I’ve tried a recipe from a new book and then discovered I had it in one of my old books that I hardly use. Two questions arise – how does the new book suddenly make the recipe appealing and are there just a limited number of recipes just endlessly recycled?
      Glad you like the new view – it’s a wet view today.

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  5. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial says:

    I’m not laughing, I’m not laughing…oh what the heck, yes I am. Poor Bill! I’m sure the final crispbread was delicious though? If not, I’m sure they’d make the most brilliant sourdough breadcrumbs – we use ours to make fish and chips. 🙂 Your berries and rhubarb booze look very decadent, and love the new window view, thank you! I’m trying to get a perspective on it though, and I’ve come to the conclusion that your kitchen must be HUGE! 🙂

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    • Anne @GtSlamseysFarm says:

      Poor Bill indeed! Maybe breadcrumbs would be a safer option. Strangely the second loaf in the batch didn’t taste so sour and we ate it all. The kitchen isn’t huge, but it’s a Victorian farmhouse so the kitchen is a big square with lots of doors and windows – definitely not a good ergonomic design.

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  6. andreamynard says:

    Rhubarb bitters, rose syrup and homemade cottage cheese all sound fabulous and I’m very reassured by your cheese making leading to sourdough to crispbreads trail – glad it’s not just me that gets carried away in this way in the kitchen.

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  7. heidiannie says:

    I’m not laughing- sourdough can be inedible when baked up wrong! I’m with Celia- I make mine into breadcrumbs.
    I love all the berries, bitters, and the view of your backyard is stunning- the stones are beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing your kitchen!

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  8. Jas@AbsolutelyJas says:

    Aha! So this is where the unfortunate tooth breaking incident comes from?! I also adore your recipe book shelf, I can’t wait to amass a collection like it!

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  9. Marianne says:

    Oh, my! Rhubarb bitters! Very intriguing. And the bowl of berries looks delicious. Berries are plentiful here now as well, especially raspberries (my favorite).

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  10. Johanna GGG says:

    I love the cream cheese tale though am sorry to hear about the dental work – sounds like just the sort of thing that would happen in our house lately.

    rhubarb bitters and shelves of cookbooks and a fine view all seem lovely though I am not sure what the pink ribbons are in your berries (is that the cream cheese?)

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  11. Kim Bultman says:

    Your kitchen (mis)adventures were a hoot to read! (So sorry to hear about the broken tooth though — hope it’s mended by now.) Thanks for sharing an entertaining story (especially the * after all that!) and for the serene view, too. Ahhh….

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